Tuesday, January 1, 2013

British & Irish Women Writers of Fiction 1910-1960 (Wh - Z)

For more information about this list, please see the introduction, linked below. 

You can download the entire list in a single PDF. Clicking on the link below will open a Google Docs page displaying the entire list in PDF. To save a copy of the PDF, just click on the little down arrow in the upper left. You can also print the list from the Google Docs page, but be warned that it now weighs in at 544 pages! 


[Current total: 2,391 writers] 

UPDATED 2/29/2024 

WHEATLEY, VERA [MARY MAUD] (30 Nov 1890 – 4 Mar 1975)
(née Semple)
1920s – 1960s
Author of nearly 20 works of fiction for adults and children. These include two related titles, Lilias Next-Door (1924) and Lilias Goes to School (1928), the latter a school story. Other children's titles are Into the Picture Screen, or, The Time of Enchantment (1931), Summer with the Morrisons (1954), and Always the Wetherby Girls (1966). Her novels for adults appear to have romantic themes, and include Devices and Desires (1926), Single-Handed (1931), A Candle of Understanding (1947), and Love Has Many Tongues (1964). Wheatley also published a biography, The Life and Work of Harriet Martineau (1957).

WHEELER, MARGARET (dates unknown)
Untraced author of one novel, The Amazing Padre (1924), which sounds like a rather feisty adventure/romance, and one girls' school story One Term at School (1925).

WHETTER, LAURA (21 Aug 1903 - 1960)
(married name Mannock)
1930s – 1950s
Author of more than two dozen romantic novels, including Empty of Heart (1934), Stolen Thunder (1936), A Star Danced (1940), Sunlight Sonata (1942), Dust for Dreams (1946), Whither Thou Goest (1952), Eve Without Her Eden (1953), and Bachelor Gay (1959).

Whibley, Polly
          see JAMES, PAULINE M.

WHIPPLE, AMY (26 Mar 1854 – 18 Apr 1940)
1900s – 1930s
Author of more than 20 children's books, many with religious themes. Titles include The Children of the Crag (1913), Winning the Prize (1917), Two Pairs and an Old (1923), Dr. Appleby's Daughters (1925), and Purple-Splendour Island (1933).

WHIPPLE, DOROTHY (26 Feb 1893 – 14 Sept 1966)
(née Stirrup)
1920s – 1960s
Popular novelist whose works have been revived by Persephone and has become their bestselling author. She published 12 volumes of fiction for adults and four more for children. Her eight full-length novels are Young Anne (1927), High Wages (1930), Greenbanks (1932), They Knew Mr. Knight (1934), The Priory (1939), They Were Sisters (1943), Because of the Lockwoods (1949), and Someone at a Distance (1953). The last, widely considered her best, is the tragic, lovely tale of a happy marriage destroyed and a woman's efforts to rebuild her life in the aftermath. It's also highly evocative of the immediate postwar years. The Priory is set during the leadup to the war, and includes a poignant scene in which a pregnant woman imagines her chances of surviving a bombing raid. (As a side note, E. M. Delafield's Provincial Lady in Wartime, published the following year, recommends The Priory to a friend as the perfect wartime reading.) And Hugh Walpole said of Greenbanks that it contained "some of the best creation of living men and women that we have had for a number of years in the English novel." Whipple's four other volumes of fiction include the novella Every Good Deed (1946) and three story collections, which have been recombined by Persephone into two new volumes, The Closed Door and Other Stories (2007) and Every Good Deed and Other Stories (2016). She also published a memoir of her childhood, The Other Day (1950), and Random Commentary (1966), subtitled "Books and Journals Kept from 1925 Onwards" and compiled from her working notebooks. The latter's first half contains glimpses of her earliest successes as an author, as well as the trials and concerns of day-to-day life, while the second half is composed of her impressions of wartime life. After her final novel got a disappointingly lukewarm reaction, she published four children's titles. I've written about Whipple several times—see here.

Whistler, Mary
          see POLLOCK, IDA [JULIE]

(née Furse)
1950s, 1980s
Best known for her biography of Walter de la Mare, Imagination of the Heart (1993), she had earlier written two children's books, The River Boy (1955), which she also illustrated, and Rushavenn Time (1988). She apparently married her brother-in-law a few years after her sister's premature death.

WHITAKER, MALACHI (23 Sept 1895 – 7 Jan 1976)
(pseudonym of Marjorie Olive Whitaker, née Taylor, aka Ethel Firebrace [with Gay TAYLOR])
1920s – 1930s
Wildly acclaimed yet enigmatic author of four story collections—Frost in April (1929), No Luggage? (1930), Five for Silver (1932), and Honeymoon (1934). Vita SACKVILLE-WEST compared her to Katherine Mansfield. In 1937, she published a humorous work in collaboration with Gay TAYLOR called The Autobiography of Ethel Firebrace, purportedly the memoir of a self-absorbed best-selling author of delicate sensibilities—see here. She published a memoir, And So Did I (1939), described by ODNB: "Narrated in her crisp and conversational style, it is a frank if fragmented account of life just before the outbreak of the Second World War. Like her short stories it is poised on a knife edge." In the same year, despite all the acclaim she had received, she announced she had nothing further to say, and thereafter published no new work. Her Selected Stories appeared in 1946, but then it wasn't until 1984's The Crystal Fountain that her work appeared in print again. In 2017 Persephone published a new collection called The Journey Home and Other Stories.

WHITBY, BEATRICE [JANIE] (c1856 – 20 Jan 1931)
(married name Hicks)
1880s – 1910s
Daughter and wife of doctors, and author of about a dozen novels which ODNB describes as "intelligent, very mildly feminist fiction". Titles include The Awakening of Mary Fenwick (1889), Part of the Property (1890), Sunset (1897), Bequeathed (1900), Flower and Thorn (1901), The Whirligig of Time (1906), The Result of an Accident (1908), and Rosamund (1911).

WHITE, AGNES ROMILLY (4 Aug 1872 – 11 Jun 1945)
Irish author of two novels—Gape Row (1934) and Mrs. Murphy Buries the Hatchet (1936). Both were reprinted in the 1980s by White Row publishers in Belfast. That publisher described the first book as "[a] boisterous, rich, nostalgic book which immerses the reader in the cheerful chaos of everyday life in a small Irish villlage on the eve of the First World War." The second takes place in the same village ten years after the war has ended.

WHITE, ANTONIA (31 Mar 1899 – 10 Apr 1980)
(pseudonym of Eirene Adeline Hopkinson, née Botting, earlier married names Green-Wilkinson and Smith)
1930s - 1970
Translator and novelist best known for her debut, Frost in May (1933), an account of a young girl in a Catholic boarding school, which has the distinction of having been chosen as the very first Virago reprint and has been called the female equivalent of Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. White was by all counts a troubled soul—she was committed to Bethlem Hospital (aka "Bedlam") for several months in 1922, suffered lifelong anguish due to doubts about her Catholicism, and had troubled relationships with men (husbands and otherwise) and with her children.  Her personal turmoil prevented her from publishing a second novel until The Lost Traveller in 1950, a sort of sequel to Frost in May (though the main character has a different name). She continued the story in two more novels, The Sugar House (1952) and Beyond the Glass (1954). She also published a story collection, Strangers (1954). She worked on but never completed an additional novel, a portion of which was published along with her memoirs in As Once in May (1983). She also wrote two children's books—Minka and Curdy (1957) and Living with Minka and Curdy: A Marmalade Cat and His Siamese Wife (1970). Her diaries were published in the early 1990s. As a translator, White is known for her English translations of multiple works by Colette, as well as the likes of Maupassant, Voltaire, and Marguerite Duras.

WHITE, CONSTANCE MARY (2 Nov 1903 – 12 Sept 2004)
(née Lockett)
1930s – 1970s
Author of more than 40 volumes of fiction. Apart from five hospital stories, beginning with Cadet Nurse at St. Mark's (1958), which seem to have been marketed to adults, her work was primarily for children, many for the "teen" market that publishers had only just discovered. Sims & Clare counted 17 girls' school stories, often with creative settings. These include A Sprite at School (1947), Ponies at Westways (1949), four books set in a ballet school (1951-58), Film Stars at Riverlea (1952), Schoolgirl Reporter (1953), and School Afloat (1965), about a school on a cruise ship. Non-school titles include The Adventurous Three (1939), Set to Music (1954), Lynne Goes East (1959), Rashid to the Rescue (1961), The House with Blue Shutters (1969), and Mystery of Matmos (1970).

WHITE, DOROTHY VERNON [HORACE] (31 Jan 1877 – 27 Jul 1967)
(née Smith)
1900s – 1910s
Author of three novels—Miss Mona (1907), Frank Burnet (1909), and Isabel (1911). Her Times obit describes Frank Burnet as "a moral fable about weakness and strength of character, written with great intelligence and gusto." At age 30, she married William Hale White, who wrote fiction as "Mark Rutherford" and was 45 years older than she. He died only two years later, and she stopped publishing fiction. However, her Times obit also singles out The Groombridge Diary (1924), a powerful account of their life together. For many years, White taught Bible classes for impoverished youths, and wrote about her experiences in Twelve Years with My Boys (1912).

WHITE, ETHEL LINA (2 Apr 1876 – 13 Aug 1944)
1920s – 1940s
Author of seventeen novels, many of them thrillers involving young women in peril. By far her best remembered work is The Wheel Spins (1936), the source for Alfred Hitchcock's film The Lady Vanishes (1938, many reprints of Wheel make use of this title), which deals with the disappearance of a governess from a moving train. Hitchcock adapted the novel freely—I wrote a bit about it here. White's first major success was Some Must Watch (1933), which was also destined to be made into a famous film—Robert Siodmak's The Spiral Staircase (1948, subsequent reprints also make use of this title), about a young woman spending the night in a remote Cornwall mansion, whose fellow guests include a serial strangler. The Third Eye (1937), reprinted by Greyladies, is about a young games mistress at a girl's school going up against the evil second-in-command of the school. And While She Sleeps (1940), according to Contemporary Authors, is about a woman "randomly picked to be the victim of a murder. … [A]s one irritation after another plagues her on the trip, she feels her luck has dried up. Unbeknownst to her, however, each of these annoyances actually save her from becoming the victim of foul play." White's other titles are The Wish-Bone (1927), 'Twill Soon Be Dark (1929), The Eternal Journey (1930), Put Out the Light (1931), Fear Stalks the Village (1932), The First Time He Died (1935), Wax (1936), The Elephant Never Forgets (1937), Step in the Dark (1938), She Faded Into Air (1941), Midnight House (1942), The Man Who Loved Lions (1943), and They See in Darkness (1944).

WHITE, HEATHER (12 Feb 1902 – 2 Jan 1979)
(pseudonym of Jess[ie] Mary Mardon Ducat, married name Foster)
1920s – 1950s
Author of 12 works of children’s fiction. She wrote several Guiding adventures, as well as two school stories—The New Broom at Prior's Rigg (1938) and The Two B's and Becky (1939). Watersmeet (1940) is about a "perky Cockney rebel" evacuated to a quiet English village in the early days of WWII. Other titles include The Extravagant Year (1929), The Golden Road (1931), Daffodil Row (1937), Rowan in Search of a Name (1941), and Holiday in Rome (1955).

WHITE, JEAN (JEANIE) [GEORGINA] (23 May 1892 – 1960)
(née Will)
Scottish author of two novels set in and around Buchan in Aberdeenshire. The Moss Road (1932) focuses on a young woman’s early development, including her time at school and at a training college in Aberdeen (White herself attended Aberdeen University). The Sea Road (1935), set in a fishing village in northeastern Scotland, focuses on the illegitimate daughter of a local woman who grows up and finds success as a singer. Both novels seem to use "the guid aul' Scots tongue" throughout. White’s father was the schoolmaster of New Pitsligo, where she grew up.

WHITE, SYLVIA SCOTT (dates unknown)
Author of two girls' pony stories—Ten-Week Stables (1960) and its sequel, Pony Pageant (1965). See here for more details.

(née Morrison)
Author of a single novel, Youth on the Prow (1935), an adventurous tale set in the Sudan during the 19th century Nile explorations. One critic suggested it might be too youthful in tone for most adult readers, too advanced in subject for most boys, but found her knowledge of the region excellent. She had lived for a time in the Sudan with her husband, Noel Tancred Whitehead, a “government bacteriologist” and later on the staff of the Royal Infirmary at Hull.

WHITEHEAD, ELIZABETH (dates unknown)
Author of one children's title, Adventurous Exile (1946), about a party of English schoolgirls and teachers trapped in France during World War II. There are a couple of religious-themed titles with similar author names, but it's unclear if they're by the same person.

WHITEHEAD, KATE (5 Aug 1896 – 22 Feb 1978)
(married name Oxley)
1920s – 1930s
Wife of Selwyn Oxley, a pioneer educator of the deaf. Author of two novels, The King's Legacy (1928) and For Prince Charlie (1929), and several children's books about cats, including Stubby: The Story of a Cat as Told by Himself (1931) and Kellyann: Being the Story of a Manx Cat (1933).

Whitehouse, Peggy

WHITELAW, MARGOT (dates unknown)
Untraced author of more than a dozen short romantic novels, including The Flirting Bride (1931), A Wilful Woman (1932), A Broadway Butterfly (1932), The Girl Who Interfered (1932), The Marriage of Mockery (1933), Betty Breaks Away (1935), Beyond Her Reach (1936), Double-Crossed (1937), The Climber (1939),

WHITHAM, GRACE I[SABELLE]. (7 Feb 1874 – 16 Nov 1965)
1900s – 1930s
Author of more than 20 volumes of fiction, mostly historical children's titles. These include Squire and Page: A Story of Olden Days (1905), Basil the Page: A Story of the Days of Queen Elizabeth (1908), The Nameless Prince: A Tale of Plantagenet Days (1912), and When I Was a King (1937). Works that appear to be for adults include Marjorie Conyers (1921), As I Hear Tell (1924), Stinging Nettles (1927), and Sarah's Husband (1929).

WHITING, MARY BRADFORD (1863 – 9 Dec 1935)
1880s – 1930s
Biographer and author of more than 20 works of fiction for both adults and children. Titles include Stronger than Fate (1889), The Torchbearers (1904), Meriel's Career: A Tale of Literary Life in London (1914), A Daughter of the Empire (1919), and a girls' school story called What Hazel Did (1924). She also published two biographical books about Dante.

WHITLOCK, PAMELA (21 Mar 1920 – 3 Jun 1982)
1930s – 1940s
Novelist and children's author, best known for four popular children's books co-written with Katharine HULL, most famously The Far-Distant Oxus (1937), written when the pair were still teenagers, about six children on their own in Exmoor. Their other collaborations are Escape to Persia (1938), Oxus in Summer (1939), and Crowns (1947). On her own, Whitlock also published one adult novel, The Sweet Spring (1952), described as “a charmingly evocative, chiefly romantic, story of childhood and youth in a Devonshire Roman Catholic family.” The dust jacket of a 1960 edition of Oxus featured a publisher's advert for another book by Whitlock, called The Brockens: A Country Family, to be published the following year, but in fact this book never seems to have appeared. That the advert contains a fairly detailed summary of the book suggests it was well under way or even finished, but if so it is unknown what became of the manuscript.

WHITNEY, JANET PAYNE (6 Sept 1889 - 1974)
(née Payne)
1940s – 1950s
Biographer and novelist. A Quaker who married an American and moved to Pennsylvania, Whitney wrote six novels, some or all about 19th century Quakers. Titles are Jennifer (1941), Judith (1944), Intrigue in Baltimore (1952), The Quaker Bride (1954), The Ilex Avenue (1956), and Not for Ransom (1959). She also published four biographies, including Abigail Adams (1949).

Whittingham, Sara
          see BRADLEY,

WHITTLE, NORAH [MARGUERITE] (20 Sept 1895 – 24 Jul 1971)
1950s – 1970s
Author of two early children's titles, The Moated Manor and The Ring (both 1950), followed by more than a dozen novels which seem to be romantic in nature, including Caroline (1964), Grapes from Thorns (1965), Crowsfell (1967), Poor Little Rich Girl (1973), and Thyme and Rue (1975).

WHITTON, BARBARA (1921 – 21 Sept 2016)
(pseudonym of Margaret Hazel Chitty, née Watson)
Author of one published novel, Green Hands (1943), an enthusiastic and entertaining tale of a group of girls in the Women's Land Army during World War II, which has been reprinted by the Imperial War Museum. In correspondence, the author’s daughter mentioned that, having recently married a surveyor in the Royal Artillery, her mother “wrote it in a week sitting in a willow tree in Amesbury while my father was on a course on the Salisbury Plain.” Later in the war, she served as a FANY and then a driver in the ATS; she recorded these experiences in a second novel, The Khaki Thread, which remains unpublished, though her daughters confirm the manuscript still exists. Given her Land Army experience, it's perhaps appropriate that she later worked as a florist. (Thank you to Deborah Edlmann and Peter Andrews for providing information.)

WHITTON, [FLORENCE] DOROTHY (16 May 1901 – 31 Oct 1984)
Author of two historical novels—White Lady (1946), set in medieval England with a scullion as heroine, and Halo of Dreams (1948), about a young girl inspired by Joan of Arc who gets involved with trying to put Henry VI back on the throne.

WHYTE, ANNA D[UNLOP]. (12 Dec 1908 – 23 Dec 1994)
(married name Winchcombe)
Author of two novels published by the Hogarth Press, complete with Vanessa Bell covers. Change Your Sky (1935) is set among English folk escaping a dreary March in a pension in Florence, and how the improved climate affects their sensibilities. Lights Are Bright (1936) is about the adventures (including hurricane and earthquake) befalling a heroine in pursuit of the man she loves, and the new love she finds instead. Her writing was sometimes compared to Virginia Woolf, but her own relationship with Woolf seems to have been ambivalent and her admiration to have faded with time. She was born and raised in New Zealand, but her parents were Scottish and she returned to England to attend Cambridge and seems to have remained for the rest of her life. She was one of the young women present at Newnham College for Virginia Woolf’s famous lecture, as well as one by E. M. Forster. She worked for the BBC during World War II, and in later years moved to Dorset with her family and managed Thomas Hardy’s birthplace near Dorchester for the National Trust.

WHYTE, CHRISTINA GOWANS (11 Jan 1869 – 18 Jul 1961)
(married name Geddes)
1900s - 1910
Scottish author of seven children's books. Her debut, The Adventures of Merrywink (1906), won a £100 Bookman competition. The others are The Story-Book Girls (1906), Nina's Career (1908), Uncle Hilary's Nieces (1909), For the Sake of Kitty (1909), The Five Macleods (1909), and The Girls Next Door (1910).

Whyte, Violet

Wick, Stuart Mary
          see FREEMAN, KATHLEEN

WICKSTEED, HILDA M[ARY]. (3 Aug 1884 – 23 Oct 1950)
1920s – 1930
Author of three children's books—Titch: The Story of a Dog (1920), Titch & Jock (1922), and Jerry & Grandpa (1930)—as well as a biography of her father, engineer Charles Wicksteed (1933).

WILCOX, BARBARA [MAUD/MAUDE] (1 Jul 1896 – 19 Aug 1964)
(married name Smith)
Author of four children's books—Bunty Brown: Probationer (1940), Bunty Brown's Bargain (1942), Bunty of the Flying Squad (1943), and Susan at Herron's Farm (1946)—as well as cookbooks and non-fiction about rural life with her future husband.

WILCOX, SUSAN (dates unknown)
Untraced author of a single girls' school story, Twins at Highfields (1954).

WILDIG, LAURA [MARY] (12 Aug 1880 – 7 Oct 1972)
(married name Pendred)
Playwright, artist, and author of a single novel, Pandora's Shocks (1927), a farcical tale with supernatural elements, in which an impoverished scientist pays his rent by providing to his wealthy young landlady a “genie,” a man’s mind extracted from his body, with whom she has many adventures. Wildig wrote at least four plays produced in London—Once Upon a Time (1919), Priscilla and the Profligate (1920), Punchinello (1924), and (after a considerable absence noted in the play’s reviews) The Boleyns (1951). She was part of an informal group known as The Launderers (see here), which also included a number of young actors and artists, as well as a young Antonia WHITE, Mary GRIGS, and Naomi JACOB, the last of whom also appeared in one of Wildig’s plays.

WILENSKI, MARJORIE [ISOLA] (26 Jun 1889 – 25 May 1965)
(née Harland)
Wife of art critic and historian Reginald Wilenski. Author of one novel, Table Two (1942), about a group of women translators in the fictional Ministry of Foreign Intelligence in London, just before and during the Blitz. I reviewed it here, and it was reprinted in 2019 as a Furrowed Middlebrow book from Dean Street Press. On the 1939 England & Wales Register, she was working as a luggage buyer for a department store

WILKES, MARY (dates unknown)
Untraced author of one novel,The Only Door Out (1945), discussed in Anna Bogen's Women's University Fiction, 1880–1945. Other details about her are lacking.

WILKINSON, ELLEN [CICELY] (8 Oct 1891 – 6 Feb 1947)
1920s – 1930s
Journalist, political figure, activist, and author of two novels. She is most widely known as one of the first women MPs, representing Jarrow, and was part of the iconic 1936 Jarrow March, about which she published the non-fiction The Town that was Murdered (1939). She was later a junior minister under Churchill during World War II and became Minister of Education in 1944, only the second woman to serve as a minister. Her first novel, Clash (1928), set during the 1926 General Strike, provides fascinating insight from Wilkinson's own experiences. Her second novel was a mystery, The Division Bell Mystery (1932), about the murder of a wealthy financier in the House of Commons, which has been reprinted in the British Library Crime Classics series.

WILLANS, KATHARINE M[ARY]. (27 Aug 1907 – 27 Sept 1965)
(married name Rustige, aka Martha Holt)
Author of four novels—Faith Unfaithful (1933), The Proceedings of the Society (1935), Virgin Martyr (1936), and The Banker and His Daughter (1939), the last published under her pseudonym.

WILLARD, BARBARA [MARY] (12 Mar 1909 – 18 Feb 1994)
1930s – 1990s
Author of more than 70 volumes of fiction. She began with nearly a dozen adult novels, including Love in Ambush (1930), Name of Gentleman (1933), Joy Befall Thee (1934), about a family of theatrical costumiers, Set Piece (1938), The Dogs Do Bark (1948), and Portrait of Philip (1951), about Philip Sidney. It's unclear whether 1951's Celia Scarfe, published in the U.S., might be an American edition of an earlier book or if it wasn't published in the U.K. at all—it's theme of an unwed mother giving up her son for adoption, then getting a chance to adopt him back, could possibly have been unpalatable to her British publisher? After 1958's Winter in Disguise, she turned to children's fiction, and was most famous for her Mantlemass series, nine tales, beginning with The Lark and the Laurel (1970), tracing one English family from the 15th to the 17th century. Other children's titles include a trio of tales about children spending holidays with their lively aunt—Snail and the Pennithornes (1957), Snail and the Pennithornes Next Time (1958), and Snail and the Pennithornes and the Princess (1960)—as well as Eight for a Secret (1960), The Suddenly Gang (1963), The Richleighs of Tantamount (1966), The Battle of Wednesday Week (1968), The Country Maid (1978), and The Ranger's Daughters (1992). I've written about her here.

WILLCOCKS, M[ARY]. P[ATRICIA]. [SUSAN] (17 Mar 1869 – 22 Nov 1952)
1900s – 1930s
Critic, biographer, translator, and author of sixteen works of fiction. Some of her early fiction, such as Widdicombe (1905) and A Man of Genius (1908), was influenced by Hardy. Other titles include The Sleeping Partner (1919), Ropes of Sand (1926), Delicate Dilemmas (1927), and The Cup and the Lip (1929).

WILLCOX, KATHLEEN M[ARY]. (30 Jul 1899 – 24 Apr 1990)
1920s – 1960s
Author of three girls' school stories—The Mystery of the Third Form Room (1926), Averil's Ambition (1927), and The Stanford Twins at St. Faith's (1934). She is probably the same author who wrote travel books for children in the 1960s. John Herrington found a newspaper story from 1938 about a court case in which Willcox and a woman with whom she had lived for five years sued one another for alleged expenses and debts.

WILLETT, HILDA [MARY] (11 Nov 1878 – 13 Apr 1960)
1920s – 1940s

Author of twelve novels, of which at least nine are mysteries or thrillers. So It Goes On (1930) is a tale of married life, first from the husband’s point of view, then from the wife’s, and April, May and June (1931) features an immature young woman novelist who grows up quickly after finding both love and tragedy during a visit to her sister in Cornwall. Her final novel, Lilac Silk (1947), is referred to by a bookseller as a Cornish romance, but I could locate no details about it. Of her crime novels, the first two, Tragedy in Pewsey Chart (1929) and Diamonds of Death (1930), both feature international intrigue surrounding famous jewels. Murder at the Party (1931) and Found Shot (1934) both deal with murderous festivities, while Mystery on the Centre Court (1933), about the disappearance of a prestigious accountant, opens at Wimbledon. Bucket in Well (1932) is a humorous tale of a young couple who enter domestic service to escape financial problems, only to have to protect their employer from a gang of confidence tricksters. Accident in Piccadilly (1935) involves missing jewels, a shady boarding-house, and an auto “accident” in the heart of London. Peril in Darkness (1935), set in Cornwall, features a medical student on holiday, who gets mixed up in intrigue after befriending a young blind girl. And It's Quiet in the Country (1946) features a young girl fresh from the blitz, led to a quiet English village by a dying man’s last words—and finding German spies.

WILLIAMS, ELMA M[ARY]. (3 Jun 1913 – 3 Aug 1971)
1950s – 1960s
Author of 16 volumes of fiction, some or all of which appear to be romantic thrillers. Titles of these include The Waiting Years (1957), To Africa—the Bride (1958), Love in a Mist (1960), Strange Legacy (1961), Escape to Death (1961), Tomorrow a Stranger (1962), Owls Do Cry (1964), and Where Is Sylvia? (1967). Paul's Secret Courage (1967) appears to be her one work for children. In later years, she was better known for her memoirs about her animal sanctuary, Pant Glas, which overlooked Dovey Estuary. These titles include Pig in Paradise (1964), Animals Under My Feet (1965), Heaven on my Doorstep (1970), and Ride a Cock Horse (1971).

WILLIAMS, GRACE LLOYD (dates unknown)
Untraced author of a single short romance, Her Son's Choice (1932).

1920s – 1940s
Biographer and author of eight novels, possibly with religious themes—The Garden of Healing (1925), Splendid Joy (1926), Steeps to the Stars (1927), A Mother of Men (1929), The Hands of a Man (1934), Our Folk (1937), Just Common Clay (1939), and Be Merry, My Dear (1942). She also published Blazing the Trail: A Pageant of British Baptist History (1940).

WILLIAMS, M[ARION]. P[ERCY]. (1920 – 17 Jul 2015)
(née McLoughlin)
1950s – 1970s
Irish author of seven children's titles—Nigerian Holiday (1959), All Because of Dash (1960), Jewel of the Light (1961), Adventures at Sandend (1963), Teenage Talking Point (1964), Terry's Triumphs (1973), and Friends for Jeremy (1975). A 1954 passenger list shows her arriving in the U.K. from a previous home in Nigeria, planning to settle in Belfast with her missionary husband. She later lived in Swansea.

Williams, Mary
          see NETHERCOT, MARY

(pseudonym of Marguerite Patry [26 Aug 1884 – 10 Mar 1958] & Dorothy Frances Williams [29 Oct 1889 - ????])
1920s – 1950s
Joint authors of ten novels. The Gulf Invisible (1925) is focused on a young Englishwoman’s difficult marriage to a French nobleman. The Other Law (1926) features the dramatic financial and emotional ups and downs of a pair of twins. Fool's Wisdom (1928) looks at the effect on its hero of wealth acquired in newly-developed regions (those overseen by “the sleepy, intriguing Latin temperament”). Jacob's Ladder (1929) is about a young woman’s loss of wealth and decision to make a fresh start in Paris. In Word of Tomorrow (1931), two cousins who share a name get into trouble involving an inheritance, and later concerning a woman. Holly Hedge (1934) is about a young married couple’s love problems. Over the Garden Wall (1936) features a man’s resistance to the suburban sprawl eating into his estate. After that, the authors turned to historical writing, with a particular interest in early British history. I Am Canute (1938) focuses on Ethelred the Unready and Edward Ironside, as well as the title king. God's Warrior (1942) "deals with one of the most exciting periods of early English history, when young Edgar was on the throne, with his lovely and lively Queen Elfrith, and the saintly Dunstan was Archbishop." And Alfred the King (1951) is set during the years of brutal Viking incursions. On the 1939 England & Wales Register, the two women are living together in Farnham, Surrey, but I still have been able to trace Williams in later records. [Thanks to Mark Harris for alerting me to these authors.]

Williams, Peggy
          see EVANS, MARGIAD

WILLIAMS, URSULA MORAY (19 Apr 1911 – 17 Oct 2006)
(married name John)
1930s – 1980s
Illustrator and author of more than 60 children's titles. Her best known work is probably Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse (1938), about a toy pony who sets out in the world to make a living. She also published pony stories and family adventures. Titles include Jean-Pierre (1931), Anders and Marta (1935), A Castle for John-Peter (1941), Gobbolino the Witch's Cat (1942), The Three Toymakers (1945), The Binklebys at Home (1951), The Binklebys on the Farm (1953), The Moonball (1958), Beware of This Animal (1964), The Cruise of the "Happy-Go-Gay" (1967), Man on a Steeple (1971), The Kidnapping of My Grandmother (1972), No Ponies for Miss Pobjoy (1975), and Paddy on the Island (1987).

WILLIAMS, WINIFRED (dates unknown)
1930s – 1940s
Author of a story collection, Fellow-Mortals (1936), and one novel, The Beehive (1941), set in a large Yorkshire mill. According to this site, she was born in Stainland and taught at the Bolton Brow School in Sowerby Bridge, but there are still too many possibilities in the records to positively identify her.

WILLIAMS-ELLIS, [MARY] AMABEL (ANNABEL) [NASSAU] (25 May 1894 – 27 Aug 1984)
(née Strachey)
1920s – 1930s
Cousin of Lytton Strachey as well as Dorothy STRACHEY and Marjorie STRACHEY. She began writing in collaboration with her husband, architect Clough Williams-Ellis. She later published numerous non-fiction works for children, and several collections of fairy tales because she felt there was “a real need for authentic re-tellings of traditional tales if Disney and Enid BLYTON were not to reign supreme." She published five novels—Noah’s Ark (1925), about a young couple vainly resisting their instincts to marry and reproduce, The Wall of Glass (1927), which surveys the political scene of the day, including fictional versions of recognizable figures, To Tell the Truth (1933), a fable about communism and capitalism, The Big Firm (1938), about the workings of a large chemical company, and Learn to Love First (1939), described as a Ruritanian political fantasy. A volume of stories focused on the Russian Revolution, Volcano (1931), resulted from her 1928 trip to Russia. A book of games Williams-Ellis wrote with her husband, In and Out of Doors (1937), was popular during World War II as a means of entertaining children during long nights in air raid shelters. Headlong Down the Years: A Tale of To-Day (1951), written with her husband, is described by the Orlando Project as a satire written in the style of Thomas Love Peacock. I reviewed her first novel here.

Williamson, Ethel
          see VEHEYNE, CHERRY

WILLMOT, [ANNIE] FLORENCE (17 Oct 1857 – 19 Apr 1955)
1900s – 1920s
Author of seven volumes of Christian-themed children's fiction, including one school story, Care of Uncle Charlie (1912). Other titles are The Tender Light of Home (1908), Benedicite: A Karoo Reverie (1909), Loyal Hearts and True (1910), The Heart of a Friend: A Story for Girls (1911), Kitty and Kit (1912), and Sheila's Inheritance (1924).

WILLOUGHBY, [LOUISE] CECILIA (4 Jun 1905 – 26 Aug 1985)
(married name Craven)
Author of three novels, including Friday's Moon (1932), which the Bookman compared (unfavorably) with Mary WEBB's Precious Bane. The others are Mellory's Yard (1934) and The Silver Fountain (1935).

WILMOT-BUXTON, ETHEL MARY (c1870 – 22 Apr 1923)
1880s – 1920s

Prolific author of children's non-fiction and retellings of classic stories and folk tales. Her late novel Gildersleeves (1921) is included in the Encyclopaedia of Girls' School Stories on a list of grownup school stories.

WILSON, DESEMEA (20 Jun 1878 – 16 Mar 1964)
(née Newman, aka Barbara Desmond, aka Diana Patrick)
1920s – 1940s
Mother of Romilly CAVAN. Author of more than 30 romantic novels, most under the name "Diana Patrick", including The Islands of Desire (1920), Dusk of Moonrise (1922), Dreaming Spires (1923), Gay Girl (1927), Outpost of Arden (1930), Fragile Armour (1936), and A Little Season (1943).

WILSON, G[ERTRUDE]. M[ARY]. (25 Jul 1899 – 13 Jul 1986)
(née Bryant)
1940s – 1970s
Schoolteacher, comic strip writer, children’s writer, and author of two dozen novels, many of them detective stories with genuinely unexplained supernatural elements. These often feature series characters Miss Purdy (a mystery writer herself) and Inspector Lovick. Risky (1948), her debut, was a non-series title about a young woman mixed up in her grandfather’s murder and adventures that make those of her own heroine, in the serial adventure stories she writes, look tame. My Cousin Gary (1951) is about two cousins who loath one another and who jointly inherit their grandmother’s wealth, leading to intrigue and murder. Next, she tried her hand at a children’s book, Cousin Jenny (1954), before turning to crime writing. Those titles include Bury That Poker (1957), It Rained That Friday (1960), Witchwater (1961), Murder on Monday (1963), Nightmare Cottage (1963), Do Not Sleep (1968), Death is Buttercups (1969), She Kept On Dying (1972), and Death on a Broomstick (1977). John at Pretty Sinister has posted enthusiastically and informatively about her work—see here—and, inspired by John, Martin Edwards made Nightmare Cottage one of his "forgotten books" here.

WILSON, ROMER (26 Dec 1891 – 11 Jan 1930)
(pseudonym of Florence Roma Muir Wilson, married name O'Brien)
1910s – 1920s
Novelist, playwright, and biographer, whose fiction often focuses on artists and the impacts of war. Martin Schüler (1918), is about a relentlessly ambitious German composer, while If All These Young Men (1919), according to ODNB, is about "the enervating impact of the war on the home front." The Death of Society (1921), which won the Hawthornden Prize, traces the love of an Englishman for an older Norwegian women. Her other novels were The Grand Tour (1923), Dragon's Blood (1926), and Greenlow (1927). She also published two novellas, Latterday Symphony (1927) and The Hill of Cloves (1929), as well as three collections of fairy tales from around the world. Her one biography was All Alone: The Life and Private History of Emily Jane Brontë (1928). Wilson died of tuberculosis at age 38.

WILSON, THEODORA WILSON (13 Jan 1865 – 8 Nov 1941)
1900s – 1940
Social worker, Biblical writer, and author of more than 40 volumes of fiction for children and adults. Among her children's fiction are two school stories, The Founders of Wat End School (1932) and The St Berga Swimming Pool (1939). Other fiction includes T'Bacca Queen (1901), Father M.P. (1904), Sarah the Valiant (1907), Moll o' the Toll-Bar (1911), The Children of Trafalgar Square (1915), Netherdale for Ever! (1919), The Undaunted Trio (1923), The Explorer's Son (1928), The Sole Survivor (1935), Margot Fights Through (1936), and The Disappearing Twins: A Lakeland Yarn (1940). Wilson is discussed in some depth in Rediscovering Forgotten Radicals, edited by Angela Ingram and Daphne Patai. She was a committed pacifist and a Quaker.

WILSON-FOX, ALICE [THEODORA] (1863 – 4 Dec 1943)
(née Raikes)
1900s – 1920s
Author of about 10 works of fiction for adults and children, including The General's Choice (1905), A Dangerous Inheritance (1909), Hearts and Coronets (1910), Love in the Balance (1911), A Regular Madam (1912), Too Near the Throne (1918), and Charmian: Chauffeuse (1925).

WILTSHIRE, MARY (1887 – 7 May 1958)
(pseudonym of Frances Mary Isborn)
1920s – 1940s
Cellist, music teacher, and author of ten novels, often set in and around Wiltshire. Titles are Patricia Ellen (1924), Thursday's Child (1925), The Lesser Breed (1926), The Burying Road (1928), He Who Come After (1931), John Quaintance (1932), Heritage (1933), Cockle and Barley (1935), To-Morrow (1938), and These Maintain the City (1947).

WINCH, EVELYN M. (17 Jul 1895 – 23 May 1939)
(pseudonym of Marie Elspeth Agnes Winch, née Makgill)
1920s – 1930s
Born in Auckland to British parents, but living in Scotland by age 4. Author of 16 novels, most of them romantic with mystery and suspense elements. Titles include The Mountain of Gold (1928), The Hunting of Hilary (1929), Enemy's Kiss (1935), The Luck Shop (1935), The Dark Path (1936), Passport to Happiness (1937), Happily Ever After (1938), and Mankiller (1939). In 1939, with mental health issues exacerbated by overwork and anxieties about the approaching war, Winch committed suicide.

Winch, John
          see BOWEN, MARJORIE

WINGATE, LITITIA BERYL (11 Dec 1881 – 24 Oct 1944)
(née Tucker, aka Mrs. Alfred Wingate)
1920s – 1930s
Novelist and historian who specialized in writing about China. Her six novels are A Servant of the Mightiest (1927), about Genghis Khan, Jên (1928), about Marco Polo, Before Sunset (1929), Thereabouts (1933), London Luck (1933), and Within a Generation (1939).

WINNCROFT, EILEEN (1 Nov 1901 - 1992)
(pseudonym of Henrietta Winifred Macloughlin, née Pryke, earlier married name Franckeiss, aka Martha Blount)
Journalist and author of two novels—Be a Gent, Little Woman, Be a Gent (1938) and Angels in Ealing (1939), both discussed by Brad Bigelow at Neglected Books here. She wrote for The Daily Express under her Blount pseudonym, and also collaborated with Else Wendel on her memoir of life in Germany during wartime, Hausfrau at War (1957). She later wrote about child-rearing. Thank you to Brad for the heads up about his discoveries and identification of her.

Winstanley, Edith Maud
          see HULL, E[DITH]. M[AUDE].

WINSTANLEY, LILIAN (18 Nov 1875 – 28 Sept 1960)
1900s, 1920s
Literary scholar, poet, and author of five novels—Stolen Banns (1907), a melodrama set in Yorkshire, The Winged Lion (1908), about “a man who grows tired of civilisation, and takes to the open road,” The Scholar Vagabond (1909), set in Wales, “a summer idyll, a gentle dreamy tale with a poetic touch,” The Double Disappearance (1925), a mystery involving the disappearance of two husbands, and The Face on the Stair (1927), set in the days of the stage coach and concerning a young man’s attempts to avoid capture by mysterious pursuers. Winstanley wrote several critical works about Shakespeare, as well as volumes on Shelley and Tolstoy.

Winter, John Strange

Winterton, Mark
          see KIDD, BEATRICE ETHEL

WOGAN, JANE REES (13 Jul 1899 – 17 Nov 1979)
(pseudonym of Janet Evelyn Cousins)
Author of two historical novels—Go Down, Moses (1936) and Green Heritage (1937)—both apparently set in Jamaica after the abolition of slavery.

WOLFE, ELIZABETH [SOPHIA FRANCIS] (8 Mar 1898 – 18 Jan 1966)
(née Heygate, aka Evylyn Fabyan [with French author Fabienne Lafargue])
Sister of novelist John E. M. Heygate, reportedly the model for John Beaver in Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of Dust. Wolfe co-authored, with French author Fabienne Lafargue, several novels under the pseudonym Evylyn Fabyan. John Herrington found traces of a joint contract with the two for Painted Toys (1940), The Varleys of the New Forest (1941), I Do Betray (1942), and In Loving Thee (1943). It's not clear whether a fifth novel using the name, Margot (1945), is also by both authors. According to a blurb, The Varleys of the New Forest is set in and around the movie industry in Hollywood.

WOOD, LESLEY (dates unknown)
Author of a single girls' school story, The Tangled Twins (1928).

WOOD, LORNA M[ARY]. (16 Jun 1913 – 10 Dec 2010)
(married name Swire)
1930s – 1970s
Author of more than 20 volumes of fiction, best known for her series of children's books about the "hag" Dowsabel, which included The People in the Garden (1954), The Hag Calls for Help (1957), Holiday on Hot Bricks (1958), Seven-League Ballet Shoes (1959), Hags on Holiday (1960), Hag in the Castle (1962), Rescue by Broomstick (1963), and Hags by Starlight (1970). Her first published title was The Crumb-Snatchers (1933), a novel which the Spectator called "vivacious." Two subsequent titles, Gilded Sprays (1935) and The Hopeful Travellers (1936), appear to also be for adults. Her childhood, which she described in a Contemporary Authors entry, was clearly unconventional—no formal education, raised in a home without gas or electricity, then discovered as a musical prodigy and giving regular concerts. She and her husband visited Spain during the Spanish Civil War, and she contributed a piece about their experiences, "Correspondent's Wife," to the 1939 anthology Nothing But Danger.

WOOD, MOLLY (19 Oct 1909 – 16 Oct 1994)
(married names Phillips and Troke, aka Hester Bourne, aka Lyn Arnold)
1940s, 1960s – 1970s
Author of four early novels as Lyn Arnold—Joy as It Flies (1940), The Home-Coming (1943), Tea with Lemon and Flash of Joy (1943), and Holiday from Life (1945), followed by seven later crime and romance novels as Hester Bourne—The Spanish House (1962), In the Event of My Death (1964), Where Is Evie Alton? (1968), After the Island (1969), The Red Raincoat (1970), A Scent of Roses (1971), and The House Across the Water (1972). Could she have used other pseudonyms in the years in between?

WOODGATE, MILDRED VIOLET (26 Jan 1886 – 27 Feb 1978)
(aka Oliver Barton)
1920s – 1930s
Author of numerous biographies of religious figures, as well as at at least seven novels and a children’s book. Under her Barton pseudonym, she published The Eye of the Peacock (1928), a treasure adventure set in Persia, The City of Death (1934), about the discovery of a lost tribe in Mexico, and The Ring of Fate (1939), set in ancient Athens. The Children of Danecourt Park (1924) is children’s fiction. In the 1930s, she wrote several crime novels. The Secret of the Sapphire Ring (1930) is about the murder of a wealthy Englishman and a ring which holds an amazing secret. The Two Houses on the Cliff (1931) is described as a “gripping murder puzzle” set on the Dorset coast. Pauline's Lady (1931), a murder mystery set in the Victorian period and narrated by a governess, was compared to the works of M. E. Braddon, and The Silver Mirror (1935) is based on the case of Constance Kent, a girl who murdered her brother through jealousy. A later work, The Cross of Twigs (1945), was also published by Mellifont Press, as were several earlier novels; it could also be fiction, but information about it is extremely scarce. Steve at Bear Alley discussed Woodgate in depth here.

WOODHOUSE, FRANCES (dates unknown)
Unidentified author of a single novel, Country Holiday (1935), about "an extremely shy young doctor who misses the happiest things in life, but manages to make a good business of it after all."

WOODHAM-SMITH, CECIL [BLANCHE] (29 Apr 1896 – 16 Mar 1977)
(née Fitzgerald, aka Janet Gordon)
1930s – 1940s
Best known as the author of four acclaimed historical volumes—Florence Nightingale 1820-1910 (1950), The Reason Why (1953), about the Light Brigade, The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-9 (1962), and Queen Victoria: Her Life and Times Vol. 1 (1972) (she died before completing a planned volume 2). She began her career with three pseudonymous novels. April Sky (1938) tells what happens when a young office worker falls for her employer's son, and a critic noted that it "contains dozens of passages describing frocks, food and houses, yet every line will be absorbed with interest by the Cathy's of the world who imagine that someday they, too, will be whisked from their office chair to live the heroine's life." Tennis Star (1939) features a shop-girl’s rise to fame as a tennis champion. And Just Off Bond Street (1940) was described as "the happiest kind of escapist reading—a vivid, fast-moving love story of Elizabeth and Larry, told in a series of enthralling episodes." A blurb for her first novel calls her "a writer whose short stories are famous on both sides of the Atlantic."

WOODHOUSE, RENA (3 Sept 1898 – 21 Aug 1965)
(full name Rena de Vere Woodhouse, Baroness Terrington, née Swiney, other married names Howell, Humphrey, and Billingham, aka Rena Woodhouse)
Journalist, socialite, and author of two novels—All That For Nothing (1931), in which she stated that she had tried to capture the spirit of her youth, and It Happened to Me (1937), the latter as Rena Woodhouse. Her third marriage was to Harold James Selbourne Woodhouse, 2nd Baron Terrington, but their wedded bliss was short-lived as he soon after spent several years in prison.

Woodroffe, Daniel
          see WOODS, MARY

WOODS, MARGARET LOUISA (20 Nov 1855 – 1 Dec 1945)
(née Bradley)
1880s – 1920s
Poet and author of ten volumes of fiction. Her well-received debut, A Village Tragedy (1887), deals with the plight of an unwed mother. The Vagabonds (1894) deals with a group of circus performers. The Invader (1907) is the tale of a woman whose hypnotism results in a sexually free alternate personality. Other novels are Esther Vanhomrigh (1891), Sons of the Sword (1901), The King's Revoke (1905), A Poet's Youth (1923) and The Spanish Lady (1927). Come Unto These Yellow Sands (1915) is a collection of children's tales with supernatural themes. She also published a story collection, Weeping Ferry and Other Stories (1897).

WOODS, MARY (1 Oct 1860 – 18 Nov 1943)
(née Woodroffe, aka Daniel Woodroffe, aka Mrs. J. C. Woods)
1890s – 1910s, 1930s
Author of at least five novels as Daniel Woofroffe—Her Celestial Husband (1895), Tangled Trinities (1901), The Beauty Shop (1905), The Rat-Trap (1912), and The Quicksand (1933)—and one as Mrs. J. C. Woods, The Evil Eye (1903).

WOODTHORPE, GERTRUDE [IRENE] (7 Aug 1888 – 1 Mar 1977)
Author of one volume of poetry, Sunflower and Elm (1930), and one novel, Spring Head (1935), the latter about the growth of a young girl to maturity and her eventual marriage to the elderly widower of her good friend. It received an enthusiastic review from the Observer.

WOODWARD, AMY [LUCY] (17 Jun 1883 – 23 Jan 1974)
(née Temple)
1930s – 1950s
Author of nearly 20 volumes of fiction for children and adults. Titles include The Treasure Cave (1931), The Missing Diamonds (1934), The Two Adventurers (1934), The Quest (1938), Michael Drives the Car (1939), Mrs. Bunch's Caravan (1940), The Serpents (1947), and The Haunted Headland (1953). Life Is Sweet: The Intimate Diary of an Author's Wife (1943) could be non-fiction, but if so I haven't determined who her author husband was.

WOOLF, BELLA SIDNEY (1876 – 24 Nov 1960)
(married names Lock and Southorn)
1890s – 1930
Sister of Leonard Woolf. Travel writer and author of nearly a dozen children's books. Titles include Jerry and Joe: A Tale of the Two Jubilees (1897), All in a Castle Fair (1900), Dear Sweet Anne, or, The Mysterious Veres (1906), The Twins in Ceylon (1909), More About the Twins in Ceylon (1911), The Golden House (1912), and Chips of China (1930). Her travel writing includes the first Western guidebook to Ceylon, How to See Ceylon (1914), as well as Killarney and Round About (1901), Eastern Star-Dust (1922), and Under the Mosquito Curtain: Sketches of Life in the East (1935).

WOOLF, [ADELINE] VIRGINIA (25 Jan 1882 – 28 Mar 1941)
(née Stephen)
1910s – 1940s
A central figure in 20th century British literature, Woolf published ten novels, as well as short fiction, voluminous essays and reviews, biography, a play, and a famous diary spanning most of her career. Her novels are The Voyage Out (1915), Night and Day (1919), Jacob's Room (1922), Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), Orlando (1928), The Waves (1931), Flush (1933), The Years (1937), and Between the Acts (1941). She wrote two very famous long essays, A Room of One’s Own (1929), about the difficulties for women of being creative artists, and Three Guineas (1938), a passionate condemnation of war and fascism. So much critical and biographical work on Woolf exists that it's impossible to even approach here, but Hermione Lee's biography (1996) is an excellent place to begin.

WOOLFITT, SUSAN (13 May 1907 – 29 Aug 1978)
Memoirist and author of one children's title, Escape to Adventure (1948), about youngsters having adventures on the canals of England. This presumably draws on her own experiences as a canal boat worker during World War II, recounted in her memoir Idle Women (1947).

WORGER, BIDDY (6 Jun 1891 – 8 Sept 1958)
(full name Edith Worgel, née Wotzel, earlier married name Gaskins)
Author of four humorous novels—A Page from Life (1933), Bessie the Bus (1934), Dusky Ladies (1935), and The Memoirs of Bartimus Winkle (1936). Her second husband was a doctor and she apparently spent some years in the Medical Service in Fiji, where some of her fiction appears to be set.

WORSLEY-GOUGH, BARBARA [KATHLEEN] (29 Jul 1903 – 10 Oct 1961)
(married name Hale)
1930s – 1950s
Author of seven well-received humorous novels and two mysteries, as well as books on cooking and fashion. A Feather in Her Cap (1936) is the tale of several Bright Young Things on a month-long jaunt to Austria, while The Sly Hyena (1951), according to the West Australian, "tells of life in London today, with excursions to country houses which include a castle in Ireland and a whimsy cottage in the Surrey hills." I reviewed the former here. The other novels are Public Affaires (1932), Sweet Home (1933), Nets to Catch the Wind (1935), Learn to Be a Lady (1938), and Old Father Antic (1955). Her two mysteries are Alibi Innings (1954, reprinted by Penguin), set in the cricketing world, and Lantern Hill (1957), set in the pop music industry.

WRAY, I. (20 Apr 1894 – 14 Feb 1969)
(pseudonym of Iris Elaine Bickford, married name Palliser)
Author of two mystery novels. The Vye Murder (1930) was praised by The Spectator for its portrayal of women, and Murder—and Ariadne (1931), about a murder following a "rowdy house party", was praised by the West Australian as "ingeniously constructed".

WRIGHT, CATHERINE [MARY] (22 Jan 1907 – 13 Feb 1985)
(née Pearson)
Author of three novels—Garment of Repentance (1935), about a woman’s love from a Rhodesian planter, set in both London and Africa, Primroses and Peacocks (1936), about the disillusionment of a well-to-do woman of 19 who marries a farm laborer, and Odd Man for Dinner (1936), which may have crime elements and deals with a man who falls in love with a married woman. Her granddaughter is Daphne Wright, who publishes crime fiction under her own name and several pseudonyms.

WRIGHT, CONSTANCE [METCALFE] HAGBERG (12 Aug 1862 – 11 Jan 1949)
(née Lockwood, earlier married name Lewis)
Not to be confused with American author Constance Choate Wright. Author of one children’s book, Tales of Chinese Magic (1925), and one novel, The Chaste Mistress (1930), about the 1779 murder of Martha Ray, which has also been memorialized by Wordsworth and discussed by Elizabeth JENKINS.

WRIGHT, DOROTHY (1910 – 1996)
1930s, 1950s
Teacher and writer on basketmaking, playwright, screenwriter, and author six novels. The Gentle Phoenix (1938), a comedy about a young woman from a family of artists, earned a comparison to Margaret KENNEDY's The Constant Nymph. Laurian and the Wolf (1957) is about a couple of young newlyweds on honeymoon in Italy and back home in London. Among the Cedars (1959) is about the neglected daughter of a divorced couple, who spends a summer in Austria with a young widow and her family. Her other novels are Shadows in Sunlight (1936), Queens Wilde (1950), and Advance in Love (1953). In spite of a mini-bio here, which provided the dates shown above, I've so far been unable to trace her in public records.

WRIGHT, ESTHER TERRY (17 Jan 1913 – Oct 1984)
(married name Hunt)
1940s – 1950s, 1970s
Author of three novels. Pilot's Wife's Tale (1942) is a more or less autobiographical portrayal of her pilot husband's injuries and recovery after being shot down during the Battle of Britain. The Prophet Bird (1958), about a couple struggling in the postwar years, is, according to the author's son, also autobiographical in theme. Her last, A Vacant Chair (1979), is the short, humorous tale of the owners of a Covent Garden flower shop. Following her divorce, Wright took her first job at the age of 46, going to work at the BBC. (Thank you to Charles Hunt for his information about his mother and her books.)

WRIGHT, FRANCES C[AMILLIA]. (dates unknown)
Untraced author of one school story listed by Sims and Clare, The Mystery of the Trees (1954), and its sequel, The Mystery of the Lovelace Luck (1957), a non-school story in which the three main characters are on holiday together. [Thank you to Nicola Davies for her information on these titles.]

Wright, Francesca

WYATT, [MARY] ISABEL (22 Oct 1901 – 9 Jul 1992)
(née Foster)
1930s – 1970s
Children's author and popular reteller of legends and folklore for children. Titles include The Book of Fairy Princes (1949), Seven-Year-Old Wonder Book (1958), The Dream of King Alfdan (1961), King Beetle-Tamer and Other Lighthearted Wonder Tales (1963), and The Witch and the Woodpecker (1970). She also published non-fiction analyses of Shakespeare and the legends of King Arthur. Two early titles published by Hodder & Stoughton—Maid's Malady (1930) and Cheese Carnival (1934)—appear to be novels, but little information is available beyond the fact that the former may be a dialect novel set on "the moors."

WYCHWOOD, SUSAN (dates unknown)
Untraced author of a single girls' school story, French Leave (1936), set in a small boarding school in a French provincial town. I wrote a bit about it here.

WYLD, DOREEN (DORIS) [ELISE] (8 Oct 1897 – 6 Jul 1969)
Author of two girls' school stories which, according to Sims & Clare, were published in reverse order, with Hilary Takes a Hand (1952) beginning the major plotlines and The Girls of Queen's Mere (1950) concluding them.

Wylde, Katharine
          see COLVILL, H[ELEN]. H[ESTER].

WYLIE, I[DA]. A[LEXA]. R[OSS]. (16 Mar 1885 – 4 Nov 1959)
1910s – 1950s
Suffragist, popular short story writer, and author of more than 30 works of fiction. Towards Morning (1918) was praised as a relatively balanced portrayal of post-WWI Germans. The Bookman called Ancient Fires (1924) "[a]n exquisite love story set in a modern background that smacks nevertheless of witch craft and medievalism and strange, sinister powers." Keeper of the Flame (1942) was made into film of the same name starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Other titles include The Native Born, or, The Rajah's People (1910), The Red Mirage (1913), Tristam Sahib (1917), The Dark House (1922), The Silver Virgin (1929), Furious Young Man (1936), Strangers Are Coming (1941), Where No Birds Sing (1947), and Claire Serrat (1959).

WYLLARDE, DOLF (3 Apr 1871 – 10 May 1950)
(pseudonym of Dorothy Margarette Selby Lowndes)
1890s – 1930s
Sister of Armine GRACE. Author of more than 40 volumes of fiction which, according to OCEF, span "both exotic tales and more serious examinations of the predicament of single women." Titles include A Lonely Little Lady (1897), As Ye Have Sown (1906), The Unofficial Honeymoon (1911), Youth Will be Served (1913), Exile: An Outpost of Empire (1916), The Lavender Lad (1922), The Water Diviner (1923), The Career of Beauty Darling (1926), Miss Pretty in the Wood (1929), The Girl Groom (1936), and Claimed Under Heriot (1939). Among her books were at least two for children—Things (1915) and They Also Serve: A Story for Girls (1924).

Wyndham, Esther
          see LUTYENS, MARY

WYNNE, ALICE CLARA VERONICA (2 Dec 1889 – 4 Mar 1969) & EMILY ADELAIDE (11 Jun 1871 – 12 Jun 1958)
Sisters and authors of a single novel, Every Dog (1929), a far-fetched-sounding farce about a businessman trying to escape his responsibilities. The Spectator called it “tedious, though funny in places.” Although their substantial age difference made it plausible for them to be mother and daughter, they are both clearly on the 1901 census with their parents.

WYNNE, MAY (1 Jan 1875 – 29 Nov 1949)
(pseudonym of Mabel Winifred Knowles, aka Lester Lurgan)
1900s – 1940s
Enormously prolific author of more than 200 books, including adult romance and suspense, historical fiction, children's adventure and holiday stories, girls' school stories, and religious fiction. In the early 1910s, she published six novels under her Lurgan pseudonym. Among her innumerable titles are Ronald Lindsay (1905), The Red Fleur-de-Lys (1912), The Hero of Urbino (1914), Roseleen at School (1920), The Spendthrift Duke (1921), Peggy's First Term (1922), Jean Plays Her Part (1926), Plotted in Darkness (1927), Belle and Her Dragons (1931), The Unseen Witness (1932), Two Maids of Rosemarkie (1937), Sadie Comes to School (1941), The Terror of the Moor (1943), and The Unsuspected Witness (1945). According to one notice of her death, she had been a tireless worker in support of needy dockworkers, including during the Blitz.

WYNNE, PAMELA (15 Apr 1879 – 29 Jan 1959)
(pseudonym of Winifred Mary Scott, née Watson)
1920s – 1950s
Author of more than 60 romance novels. Her first success was Ann's An Idiot (1923), which was filmed as Dangerous Innocence. Other titles include Penelope Finds Out (1926), Love In A Mist (1932), Love Begins At Forty (1936), and Merry Widows (1943).

WYNNE-TYSON, ESMÉ (29 Jun 1898 – 17 Jan 1972)
(pseudonym of Dorothy Estelle Esmé Innes Ripper, married name Tyson, aka Esnomel, aka Amanda, aka Diotima)
Child actress, playwright, philosopher, and novelist. Security (1927) is, according to its jacket blurb, about the "lengths a woman will go to to ensure security for herself and her children when it is jeopardised by the sins of the father." Quicksand (1927) was an adaptation of a play she co-wrote with Noël Coward. Three more novels—Momus (1928), Melody (1929), and Incense and Sweet Cane (1930)—followed, before she began to focus on journalism and philosophy. She later wrote three more philosophical novels with John Davys Beresford—Men in the Same Boat (1943), The Riddle of the Tower (1944), and The Gift (1947)—though according to ODNB they collaborated on seven more that were published under Beresford's name only. She used her Amanda pseudonym for children's stories and her Diotima pseudonym for journalistic work.

WYNNE-WILLSON, D[OROTHY]. [MARY] (22 Feb 1909 – 25 Feb 1932)
Author of a single novel, Early Closing (1931), an adult novel set in a boys' school which was a selection of the Book Society. She died of influenza the following year having just turned 23. Poignantly, she had a twin sister who lived until 1996. A memoir of Wynne-Willson was published by novelist and bibliophile Michael Sadleir. I wrote in more detail about the novel and her tragic death here.

YARDLEY, MAUD H[OGARTH]. (6 Mar 1867 – 1 May 1954)
(née Crofts)
1900s – 1910s
Novelist whose first book, Sinless (1906), is described by OCEF: "in which a man returns from India after ten years to meet his wife, with another man identically circumstanced, meets the wrong one in the fog at Charing Cross station, and spends the night with her by mistake. By the end they have contrived to shake off their other halves and are living happily ever after." Others are Nor All Your Tears (1908), To-day and Love (1910), Love's Debt (1913), For You (1913), Because (1913), At the Door of the Heart (1913), A Man's Life Is Different, or, The Sleeping Flame (1914), Soulmates (1917), and Mrs. John (1919). Her birth record clearly shows her name as Maud Hogarth Croft, but her marriage record shows her name as Maude Mannering, and Ancestry trees show her parents as Montagu Mannering and Esther Croft, suggesting that her parents may not have been married at the time of ther birth.

YEO, MARGARET [DOROTHY] (1 Apr 1877 – 12 May 1941)
(née Routledge)
1910s - 1940
Author of Christian-themed biographies and fiction. Novels include The Comrade in White (1916), The Abiding City (1916), Salt (1927), A King of Shadows (1928), Wild Parsley (1929), and Uncertain Glory (1930).

YOLLAND, E. (dates unknown)
1890s – 1910s
Unidentified author of seven novels, about which little information is available. Her debut, In Days of Strife (1896), is subtitled "Fragments of fact and fiction from a Refugee's history in France, 1666 to 1685." A bookseller describes Sarolta's Verdict (1899) as a "Gothic novel set among Hungarian gypsies." And her final novel, The Struggle for the Crown: A Romance of the Seventeenth Century (1912), is apparently aimed at young women and is narrated by a lady-in-waiting to Elizabeth of Bohemia, the "Winter Queen." The others are Mistress Bridget (1898), Vanity's Price (1900), The Monk's Shadow (1902), and Under the Stars (1907).

YORKE, CURTIS (1854 – 3 May 1930)
(pseudonym of Susan Rowley Long, married name Richmond Lee)
1880s – 1920s
Popular author of dozens of "cheerful, lightweight romances" (OCEF), including Hush! (1888), The Mystery of Belgrave Square (1889), Bungay of Bandiloo (1903), Queer Little Jane (1912), Dangerous Dorothy (1912), The Level Track (1919), Miss Daffodil (1920), The Woman Ruth (1921), and Maidens Three (1928).

Yorke, Jacqueline

YORKE, MARGARET (30 Jan 1924 – 17 Nov 2012)
(pseudonym of Margaret Beda Larminie, married name Nicholson)
1950s – 2000s
Author of more than 40 novels, most of them crime fiction, often set in English villages, featuring ordinary people driven by circumstance to crime. She began her career with several works of general fiction, including Summer Flight (1957), Deceiving Mirror (1960), and The Limbo Ladies (1969). I wrote about the last of these here. Five of her novels from the 1970s feature Oxford don Patrick Grant, but in most of her work—according to Contemporary Authors—“Yorke was best known as an author of the ‘whydunit,’ rather than the ‘whodunit.’ Few of her plots revolve around discovering the criminal. Instead the reader watches as the criminal wreaks havoc—or tries to—on the other characters in the story.” Crime titles include No Fury (1967), The Small Hours of the Morning (1975), Death on Account (1979), Find Me a Villain (1983), Speak for the Dead (1988), and Cause for Concern (2001).  The five novels featuring Patrick Grant are Dead in the Morning (1970), Silent Witness (1973), Grave Matters (1973), Mortal Remains (1974), and Cast for Death (1976).

YORKE, VICTORIA (dates unknown)
1920s – 1930s
Unidentified author of three novels. Five of Hearts (1927) tells of two sisters, alone and penniless, and how they prevail—"Love and business mix well in this novel, which has much to commend it, for it is well and smartly written and is off the beaten track of fiction." Her other two have crime elements—Sealed Lips (1928), in which an actress kills her blackmailer and goes on the run, and Suppressed Evidence (1931) about a man who commits perjury to save his wife from suspicion, and the repercussions of his lies. She could well be the Victoria Margaret Yorke (née Gerald) 1900-1976, but there’s too little to go on to be sure.

Young, Diana
          see RAYMOND, DIANA

YOUNG, DIANA FRANCES (18 Aug 1894 – 24 Feb 1965)
(married name Martienssen)
Author of four novels about which I have little information. Titles are Storm Before Sunrise (1935), The Unfinished Symphony (1937), Stray Cat (1938), and Son of the Dark (1939).

YOUNG, D[OROTHY]. V[ALERIE]. (dates unknown)
1950s – 1970s

Unidentified author of at least seven books, all or most historical fiction. The Passionate Years (1959) is set during the English Civil War, The Queen's Galleons (1962) in Elizabethan Cornwall, and The White Boar (1963) deals with Richard III. King's Tragedy: The Life and Times of Richard III (1971) certainly sounds like biography, but is classed as fiction on Worldcat, and The Little Madam: Henriette Marie de Bourbon, Queen of Great Britain, Daughter of France (1974) may be for younger readers. Other titles are The Tudor Cub (1967) and The Bride from Modena (1978). Her publisher, Robert Hale, said she lived in Sileby, Leicestershire, but so far no definite identification has been made.

YOUNG, ELLA (26 Dec 1867 – 23 Jul 1956)
1900s, 1920s – 1930s
Poet, Celtic mythologist, and children's author, born in Ireland but immigrated to the U.S. in the 1920s, where she taught at Berkeley for several years. Her four acclaimed children's books were The Coming of Lugh (1909), which was illustrated by none other than Maud Gonne, The Wonder-Smith and His Son (1927), The Tangle-Coated Horse and Other Tales: Episodes from the Fionn Saga (1929), and The Unicorn with Silver Shoes (1932). Her memoirs were published as Flowering Dusk (1945).

YOUNG, E[MILY]. H[ILDA]. (21 Mar 1880 – 8 Aug 1949)
(married name Daniell)
1910s – 1940s
Author of eleven novels and two children's books, known for her blending of humor with serious themes of female freedom and growth. Miss Mole (1930), often considered her best work, deals with a damaged, outspoken, spinster housekeeper/companion and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Her other novels are A Corn of Wheat (1910), Yonder (1912), Moor Fires (1916), A Bridge Dividing (1922, aka The Misses Mallett), William (1925), The Vicar's Daughter (1927), Jenny Wren (1932), The Curate's Wife (1934), Celia (1937), and Chatterton Square (1947). Her two children's titles are Caravan Island (1940) and River Holiday (1942). In 2020, Dean Street Press reprinted Miss Mole as a Furrowed Middlebrow book. Chatterton Square has also been reprinted in the British Library Women's Classics series. I've written about Young here.

YOUNG, F[LORENCE]. E[THEL]. MILLS (28 Aug 1875 – 6 Nov 1945)
1900s – 1940s
Author of more than 50 novels, often set in South Africa and generally romantic in tone, though she published at least one early sci-fi/fantasy novel called The War of the Sexes (1905). Other titles include A Dangerous Quest (1904), Atonement (1910), The Purple Mists (1914), Beatrice Ashleigh (1918), Foreshadowed (1921), The Wine Farm (1924), The Inheritance (1928), The Rich Cargo (1932), Dreamlight (1938), and Two Streams (1945).

YOUNG, PATRICIA (1921 - ????)
1940s – 1960s
Author of 20 novels, including Narrow Streets (1942), Far Flung Seed (1943), The Devil and His Apple (1945), Dockside Symphony (1947), The Gallant Opportunist (1949), East of Bow Bells (1950), London's Child (1954), Half Past Yesterday (1959), Taffy (1961), and Sweet the Dream (1961).

YOUNG, [ALICE] RUTH (26 Jan 1884 – 2 Dec 1983)
(née Wilson)
Primarily known as a poet, she also published one novel, The Serpent's Head (1922), and one children's book, The Sea-Gull and the Sphinx: A Fairy Story (1924). She later published two biographies, Mrs. Chapman's Portrait: A Beauty of Bath of the 18th Century (1926) and The Life of an Educational Worker, Henrietta Busk (1934).

ZANGWILL, EDITH AYRTON (1875 – 5 May 1945)
1900s – 1920s
From a family of pioneering women (her mother was a doctor, her stepmother a scientist), Zangwill was a suffragist and activist as well as author of six novels. Her early novels deal humorously with women's issues—The First Mrs Mollivar (1905), for example, is about a woman who marries a widower and finds herself haunted by his first wife. Later works are more serious, particularly The Call (1924), which deals with the suffrage movement, and The House (1928), which deals with her own nervous breakdown. The others are The Barbarous Babes: Being the Memoirs of Molly (1904), Teresa (1909), and The Rise of a Star (1918).

No comments:

Post a Comment

NOTE: The comment function on Blogger is notoriously cranky. If you're having problems, try selecting "Name/URL" or "Anonymous" from the "Comment as" drop-down (be sure to "sign" your comment, though, so I know who dropped by). Some people also find it easier using a browser like Firefox or Chrome instead of Internet Explorer.

But it can still be a pain, and if you can't get any of that to work, please email me at furrowed.middlebrow@gmail.com. I do want to hear from you!